In 2012 Seattle Met’s food and drink editor, Allecia Vermillion, had the fun idea of a yearbook for beer. The 11-page feature celebrated the “new school of Seattle craft beer” by awarding classic honors and riffing on the periodic table.
I tend to stay away from layout gimmicks but this was impossible to resist. Font Bureau’s Biscotti and Bradley Initials lead the way. The opener acts as a kind of cover, inspired by vintage American yearbooks. For the spreads, I stuck to a reduced color palette and strict range of type sizes, so that most of the energy would come from imperfect alignment and overlapping elements — many yearbooks were made by students and are full of quirks. The photography caps off the concept; all of the subjects were willing participants and photographer Patrick Kehoe nailed the look.
I recommend anyone striving for a retro look to seek out unusual combinations of typefaces. Don’t rely on fonts exactly from the genre you’re emulating — unless the product needs to be historically accurate — instead, understand your content and express a feeling. A touch of contemporary typefaces will balance the design, keep you away from copycat mode, and help your work ring true.
I have long admired the aesthetic of yearbook covers and started a little collection here. Bradley Initials and Biscotti really capture the spirit of those from the 1930s–40s.
André, this is just great. Nice work!
Contributed by Matthijs Sluiter
Contributed by Font Bureau
Contributed by Aleksandra Krupa